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Mysterious power-line explosions in AU rock town, spark power outage, grassfire

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Things are a bit odd in Australia. Mysterious power line explosions rocked Morwell in Australia, sparking a mass power outage and a grass fire.

On Friday morning around 7:30 a.m., loud explosions rocked the town in Victoria’s east. Smoke was seen billowing up around power lines and a cracking noise could be heard from miles away.

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Power lines came down both outside and “inside” the Morwell Terminal Station, leaving 80,000 people across Gippsland without electricity. According to a Country Fire Authority spokesperson, about half a kilometer of high-voltage power lines came down on Commercial Road, starting a small grass fire. The fallen lines also caused a major trip at a substation, hence the blackout. A SP AusNet spokesman said the live power lines hit the power station causing the smoke and cracking.

Something similar to this happened in the United States a while back.

What adds to the mystery of the power-line situation in Australia is the comment made to The Victoria Age by a Professor Aldeen.

Aldeen said “rot or damage to wooden power poles was the likely cause of lines coming down,” but he could not think of a reason for lines to come down “inside the substation” because poles there were made from steel. Curiouser and curiouser.

What could have caused the lines to come down "inside the substation"?

The story gets even more mysterious. Adam Field, a Traralgon resident, was traveling on Monash Way near the Morwell Terminal Station at about 7.30 a.m. when he saw a bright light shining down on the road.

“We were coming around the corner and I thought ‘sh**, that’s a really bright light . . it kept getting brighter and brighter,” he said. “It looked like a floodlight, or a big spotlight pointing down at the road.”

Field pulled over to the side of the road and watched about five explosions, which he described as looking like ground-level lightning. According to Professor Aldeen, the brightness and duration of the flashes suggest they came from very high-voltage power lines.

“It’s definitely not like anything I’ve seen before,” Field said. “It almost looked like Morwell was under attack.”

If, as Professor Aldeen suggested, rot and damage to the wooden power poles caused the lines to come down outside the Terminal Station, what do you think caused the power lines on metal poles inside the Terminal Station to come down?

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